Photo courtesy of 26andcottage.wordpress.com
BY ADAM HEATER
Everybody has ideas. In a world where everyone is connected, and everybody has a voice, the internet turns into a blank canvas for those people ambitious enough to be the creators.
Two of these creators are Drake University sophomores Jacob McKay and Willie Stephenson, creators of the blog “26th & Cottage Grove.”
McKay said the blog had been something they’ve thought about in the past, but recently came to fruition.
The blog was launched on Oct. 23 and advertised on both McKay and Stephenson’s Facebook pages.
Focusing on music, fashion and lifestyle, McKay said “ (we)basically want (the blog) to run itself in the future, and want it to be a content platform for people to just put stuff on,” and Stephenson agreed.
But while McKay and Stephenson strive to be inclusive on who can post content and what they’re posting, they say that they hold the ideas that carry the name of their brainchild to very high standards.
“I only like pushing things forward, and if you’re not doing that, then why are you doing anything,” McKay said.
McKay said that he isn’t afraid to reject ideas that are redundant.
McKay and Stephenson wear their passions for this project on their sleeves. McKay literally has the “26th & Cottage Grove” logo tattooed on his forearm.
More than anything, they’re passionate about creativity. They hope that this blog can be an online bulletin board for people to share innovative, original, and prolific content from the Drake community.
The support from the community at Drake has been a big influence for McKay and Stephenson to actually pull the trigger, leading up to the launch of “26th & Cottage Grove. “
They speak specifically to the number of people who want to get involved with the blog itself.
“When we asked who would want to write for us, or when we asked if people would want to come to one of our meetings, there was actually a lot more turnout compared to what I had in my mind,” Stephenson said.
Their goal of including others has already been materialized.
After McKay and Stephenson posted a thread on the blog about their personal concert stories, and then encouraged others to submit their own, they’ve had an overwhelming number of responses of people sending concert stories or contacting them to write other pieces.
However, McKay and Stephenson aren’t sure how this support and participation will impact “26th & Cottage Grove’s” future.
They admitted that there isn’t an end goal with the project.
“I don’t really want to put limits on it,” McKay said.
But while they really don’t know where the journey with will end, they aren’t wasting any time getting started.
“I am working on partnerships with places outside of Drake (such as) The Des Moines Art Center, Wooly’s and The Des Moines Social Club,” McKay said.
Should the blog’s reputation encompass Des Moines, they could see themselves expanding throughout the Midwest.
“I hate the term culture, but that’s really what it is,” McKay said. “Most of that type of stuff happens on the coasts right now and eventually gets to us, and I want it to be the other way around. “
McKay and Stephenson, in a word, are “ambitious,” but not without reason.
The support that they’ve received in just the short time their blog has been operational, has justified the enthusiasm that they exhibit for the future of “26th & Cottage Grove.”
Their blog can be found at 26andcottage.wordpress.com.